“’But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’” (Matthew 16:15-16 NIV)
I find myself at a problem in writing a devotional about this passage. See, in the book of Matthew there are two main theological themes running through the book. The first one, the one that deals with this passage, is the theme of “what kind of man is this.” The second one is what is the cost of following Him. The first is what gives me the problem. This is the crescendo of the book as far as the first theme is concerned. It is the first time that someone, anyone, has said it outright; that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah both fully human and fully God. Throughout the book we have seen this implied back and forth as the Father said it at the baptism and the Pharisees, however called Him a blasphemer. John said he was not worthy to even take off His sandals, some called Him a Prophet, and some called Him Son of David. Matthew purposefully puts His lineage, not just back to David, but all the way back to Abraham.
We, as the reader of Matthew are taken on a journey with the Apostles, but even more as the readers of all of Scripture this moment, this epiphany of Peter’s becomes the crescendo of all of Scripture. Finally, someone says it. Finally, someone says it plainly. Peter’s epiphany, though also becomes much more for all of us, and it has the undisputable task of possibly becoming our own life crescendo. It asks us directly, DO I BELIEVE?
The problem I spoke about is this: I have no life story to write about here in this devotional. Nothing I could write could relate to you and your personal call: Do I believe? When was the time and day that you first believed? When was it that something confronted you with this question outright, “Do I believe?" Is He the Messiah, the Son of the Living God? Jesus’ words echo to us all, "Who do you say I am?" and we all must answer it for ourselves.